Ruth went to her post office box in
Nairobi, Kenya and there was only one letter. She
picked it up and looked at it before opening it, but then
she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and
address. Strange! She read the letter:
I’m going to be in your
neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
Ruth’s hands were shaking as she placed
the letter in her handbag and quickly returned to her home in the Westlands
section of town. She began thinking. "Why would the Lord Jesus want to visit
me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer." With that thought,
Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don’t have
anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for
supper." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Only 370
shillings. "Well, I can get some bread and cold meat, at least." She threw on
her coat since it began raining this August day and hurried out the door. At
the grocery store she bought a loaf of bread, one quarter kilo of sliced meat,
some cheese and a carton of milk leaving Ruth with grand total of 20 shillings
to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her
meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth
had been so absorbed in her supper plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures
huddled in an alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more
than rags. Probably part of the growing number of homeless street people in
Nairobi. "Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been
living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s raining and we’re getting
kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both. They were
dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some
kind of work if they really wanted to. "Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a
poor woman myself. All I have is cold meat and some bread, and I’m having an
important guest for supper tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman’s
shoulders. They turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them
leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and
turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don’t you take this
food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man
her grocery bag.
"Thank you, lady. Thank you very much!"
"Yes, thank you!" It was the man’s
wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I’ve got
another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one?" Ruth unbuttoned her
jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders.
Then smiling, she turned and walked back
to the street without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you,
lady! Thank you very much!"
Ruth was wet and chilled by the time she
reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord Jesus was coming to visit and
she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the
door key. But as she did she noticed an envelope under the door. "That’s odd.
Where did this come from? She opened the letter. It read:
It was so good to see you again. Thank
you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.